7 Plumbers Putty Alternatives That Work!

Plumber’s putty is the perfect sealant for faucets and drains. It’s soft, easy to apply, and will last for a long time when it is not exposed to the air.

However, despite plumber’s putty being inexpensive and widely available, it is possible that you may not have any around. Or in some cases, it may not be the ideal sealant to use. In such cases, here are seven popular alternatives to plumber’s putty.

Man using Plumber's Putty Alternative

1. Pure Silicone Sealant

Perhaps the best alternative to Plumber’s putty on the market, pure silicone sealant is waterproof, durable, and will not wear away. Sealing faucets and drains is a snap using this product. It also works well on plastic along with metal pipes.

Another advantage is that pure silicone sealant is perfect for high temperature situations such as hot water taps or outdoor fixtures. But it also works in cold situations as well. This type of sealant is better for plastic compared to Plumber’s putty.

The only downside is that it is not easy to work with, and you will need a caulking gun. It can be a bit messy if you are using the silicone caulk for the first time, but with a bit of practice, you can create a better-quality sealed joint.

2. Rubber Gasket & O-Rings

The use of Rubber gaskets is a very effective way to stop leaks at joints on most fixtures and faucets. The gasket is placed between the joint, and as you tighten it, the rubber gasket gets squeezed to create a watertight seal that stops leaks at drains and faucets.

If your faucet is still leaking, chances are that the rubber gasket is probably damaged.

Rubber gaskets for kitchen sink fittings
The primary advantage of a rubber gasket is that it can withstand pressure. If you are trying to seal a leak between joints where high-pressure liquid flows, then a rubber gasket is a better solution compared to the plumber’s putty.

However, a rubber gasket is not a sealant per se. This means that they cannot be used like plumber’s putty in terms of being a sealant around drains that are not designed with gasket space. If your new rubber gasket is leaking, check to see that it is the proper size.

Sink Strainer Gasket or Plumber’s Putty?

A rubber sink strainer gasket offers a slight edge over plumber’s putty thanks to its temperature resistance. This means it handles very hot or very cold temperatures better compared to plumber’s putty. Plus, putty does not work well with granite sinks, so you will need to use a sink strainer gasket in such situations.

Note: Do not use putty on threaded joints. When it comes to threads, Teflon tape is the perfect solution.

3. Epoxy Putty

As the name suggests, epoxy putty consists of two different substances that form a hard sealant when mixed. This product consists of a soft putty that is designed to seal the leak and a hardener that is applied to ensure the putty sets properly.

Wherever you can use plumber’s putty, epoxy putty will work as well. The hardener is the difference between the plumber’s putty and epoxy putty. This provides an advantage to epoxy putty as the hardener ensures that the seal is more permanent. For fixtures that you want to seal once and leave alone, epoxy putty is the better solution.

However, once the epoxy putty sets, it is difficult to remove. For some applications, this is not going to be ideal. Most notably for areas that you are going to upgrade or replace soon. However, for pipe leaks, epoxy putty is the ideal solution.

4. Moldable Silicone Putty

As the name suggests, this is silicone that is moldable, just like the standard plumbing putty. You can use it to seal leaks in different temperature situations. You apply the product the same way as plumber putty, and it is perfect for plugging up pinhole leaks on water lines.

Moldable Silicone Putty

One big advantage is that moldable silicone putty does not wear out. It’s waterproof and easy to use. If there is a downside, it is slightly messier when pulling it from the container, so you will need to be extra careful.

5. Terrarium Putty

This is a quick solution when you need answers fast. Terrarium putty is quite inexpensive, and you can make it in your own home. All you need is potting soil and some Sphagnum moss mixed in 2:1 proportion. Pour both into a bowl and add some charcoal and start mixing it with water to create the clay-like substance. This will require a few minutes of mixing to create the clay-like form of terrarium putty.

You’ll find that many people use this type of homemade putty because the ingredients are readily available. Some people also use a mix of soil and cat litter, but you’ll need to use cat litter that is free of chemicals.

While still moist, you can place this type of putty around plumbing fixtures in the same manner as plumber putty. One advantage of terrarium putty is that it remains waterproof even when it dries out.

However, this is not a permanent substitute for plumber’s putty. Because it lacks adhesives and the mixture is not as stable, terrarium putty tends to fall apart after a relatively short period. Use this product as a temporary seal until you get it fixed with a better solution.

6. Duct Sealant

Duct sealant is also a clay or dough-like substance, as with plumber’s putty. The difference is that it is designed to seal air leaks in HVAC applications. However, this product is also waterproof and will reduce noise in areas where it is applied. Because it can withstand high pressure and is versatile enough to seal air, gas, and water leaks, it is a popular product.

Like plumbing putty, you can easily apply it to faucets and drains. Plus, it does not harden, so it will remain working for years to come. And when you need to remove it, the duct sealant can be easily peeled away.

If it sounds like both plumber’s putty and duct sealant are the same, they are very similar. The major difference is that duct sealant will never harden. And because it never hardens, duct sealant is better in applications that involve HVAC units compared to pipes. But you can use it as a substitute for Plumber’s putty if you wish.

7. Glazing Compound

Glazing compounds are primarily used to seal windows in walls and doors. It consists of a putty that is placed around the window, which creates a seal that prevents the outside air from entering.

Because of its similar properties to plumber’s putty, it may be used as a temporary solution in plumbing areas. However, it does not have strong waterproofing compounds such as silicone or putty. This means that you should use glazing compound when you have no other choice and apply plumber’s putty when you get the first chance.